I grew up in Nashville Tennessee, son of a very musical father and a wonderfully artistic mother.
I’m proud to say that I started going to gigs early, the first was in 1969 the first Folklife Festival, I saw ~ Muddy Waters in Washington, I was two.
We moved to the UK when I was about 10 years old in ’76; my English father had fallen out of love with America as it changed from an age of as he saw it, of simpler innocence, to the place many of my family still call home.
Since then I have lived in Southern England, East Sussex to be exact, always obsessively listening to music.
At about 14-15 years of age I had my first taste of Jamaican music, a genre that would become an obsessive centre of my musical interests.
I have played guitar and written songs since the age of 14 (I’m now 49), at one point was a member of a very well respected Morris Dancing side, South Downs, I write, produce and engineer/mix my own music and have played in a few bands along a musical way. Just recently (after nearly 7 years away, I’ve been writing and recording some music, I’ve put the old stuff and some new up on Revberbnation here > http://www.reverbnation.com/mikemurphy4
I have in the past authored a website all about Jamaican vocalist Johnny Clarke and the acclaimed Jamaicanlabelart.com, a self explanatory place for visual indulgences! I also hosted and produced the podcast Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio for some years, with 20-30,000 listeners before I just felt I hadn’t the time to keep it fresh enough.
I have a B.A. Hons degree in Fine Art Printmaking from West Surrey College of Art and Design, and continue to be interested in Fine Art, though I don’t attempt to create anything anymore.
Occassionally I sell records on eBay, and try desperately to collect Jamaican music. I have lectured in Jamaican popular music at Chichester University, contributed to the Rare Record Guide and Roots Knotty Roots, a guide to Jamaican single releases. I’ve worked as a sound engineer and (in the days of) tape editor, have written for magazines and online publications and enjoy writing… and I guess that’s why I started this Blog. I also recently compiled a 2cd album on Fantastic Voyage record label of rare Jamaican Mento from my own collection.
I work as a on the road Building Materials salesman and I’m very happily the Dad of a 9 year old son and the boyfriend (if you can say that at 49) of Sue, who has a large collection of US 60s Garage and Psych. She’s been teaching me loads!